Volumes have been written about the theological significance of the Resurrection event, but Resurrection cannot be confined to theological concepts — it is a matter of the heart. The heart recognizes a deeper truth waiting to be taken into our lives.
As we read the story of the Resurrection appearances in the Gospels, we notice a significant point of theology that is repeated with each Evangelist: Each appearance involves a very normal human interaction which plays itself out in the general meaning of the Resurrection.
Often, however, we can miss this whole communication because we have become so jaded by the specific words in Scripture. Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, we need to open our eyes and see anew the wisdom of understanding Scripture as metaphor.
I invite you to read and meditate on the Resurrection stories for your Easter reflections and notice how often Christ is recognized in real human activities. Here is a list to get you started:
—The sharing of peace (Matthew 28:9).
—The removing of fear (Matthew 28:10).
—The empowering of others (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18).
—Calling by name (John 20:16).
—The breaking of bread (Luke 24:30-31).
—Walking and talking (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15).
—Eating (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:42).
—Showing and touching of wounds (Luke 24:39-40; John 20:25-28).
—Blessing (Luke 24:50-51).
—Reading the Scriptures (Luke 24:45-47).
—Giving/receiving the Spirit (John 20:22).
—Forgiving others (John 20:23).
—Cooking/serving (John 21:9-10).
—Catching fish (John 21:6-7).
—Teaching (Luke 24:25-27).
—Directing (John 21:15-19).
—Sending forth (John 20:17).
From my perspective, this list is showing us that the Resurrected Christ is recognized in the ordinary human activities of our lives. As we focus our hearts and minds on Christ, the Spirit of the Resurrected One will flow through our daily activities in life-giving ways.
I invite you to recognize this flow in your own daily routine and encounters, experiencing the Resurrection even now. Those rare moments of insight or “ah-hah” experiences are the moments when the soul recognizes this divine/human connection.
John, Thomas, Peter, Mary Magdalen and the others experienced unique breakthrough moments in their encounters with the resurrected Christ. These moments were theirs, yes, but they are also ours.
Father Jim Clarke is chair of the archdiocesan Spirituality Commission and director of spiritual formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo.